ATLANTA — Gregory Soto received his first style of the Phillies-Braves rivalry Thursday night time. It did not go so sizzling.

The lefty Soto entered a tied recreation within the backside of the eighth inning with left-handed-hitting Eddie Rosario and switch-hitting Ozzie Albies due up. After starting the body by placing out pinch-hitter Kevin Pillar, Soto put 5 straight Braves on base — single, double, stroll, two-run single, single — and three of them got here round to attain in an 8-5 Phillies loss.

It put a damper on an thrilling night time that had a big-game really feel and included Phillies comebacks to tie or take a lead in three separate innings.

Soto’s first two months in a Phillies uniform have been unusual. To say he is had ups and downs could be placing it evenly. 

He could not throw strikes in two of his first three appearances, then allowed one hit and no earned runs over his subsequent 11.

He was hit arduous on Could 2 at Dodger Stadium for 4 runs on 4 hits in two-thirds of an inning, then he went six straight outings with out permitting successful or a run.

He was hit arduous once more on Could 17 in San Francisco, permitting three runs on 5 hits. Then he rebounded towards the Cubs and Diamondbacks earlier than giving up three extra runs on 4 hits in two-thirds of an inning Thursday night time.

“It has been irritating, it has been a bit tough as a result of I both have actually good outings or actually dangerous outings,” Soto stated by way of Phillies interpreter Diego Ettedgui.

“I like moments like (tonight). I like rivalries like this. I really feel that I am prepared for them. All I can let you know is that I will hold working arduous.”

The primary assembly of 2023 between the Phillies and Braves included 5 house runs. The one full innings neither group scored had been the third and the sixth. Austin Riley demolished two of Aaron Nola’s choices for homers that traveled 458 and 459 toes. Marcell Ozuna additionally took Nola deep.

But the Phillies got here again within the second, fifth and seventh innings to both tie the Braves or take the lead. Alec Bohm launched a two-run shot to middle. Bryce Harper homered 445 toes to proper and began a rally two innings later with a two-out bunt single.

The Phillies hit. They only did not pitch.

“It is all the time a grind towards these guys,” stated Nola, who has made 32 profession begins towards the Braves, 4 greater than he is made towards any group and 11 greater than he is made towards the Marlins, for instance.

Riley, Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. have all seen Nola greater than they’ve seen every other big-league pitcher.

“I’ve confronted these guys like 50 occasions,” he stated. “They’ve just about the identical squad. They have an excellent membership. It is not the final time I will face them. Throw this one behind me and prepare for New York.”

It is a essential juncture for the 23-27 Phillies. They’ve 9 extra video games on their street journey towards the Braves, Mets and Nationals. They’re already eight video games behind the Braves within the division. They’ve proven flashes of their potential however haven’t performed constant baseball in any section. 

The 31-19 Braves have been far superior and have a transparent identification as an offensive juggernaut. They lead the Nationwide League in slugging, OPS and runs per recreation.

The Phillies eradicated the Braves from the 2022 playoffs and are 37-37 towards them relationship again to the tip of 2018, in order that they know they will stand toe-to-toe with the group that has received 5 straight NL East crowns. However it is a new 12 months. That magic carpet journey from October 2022 is only a reminiscence.

“Coming in right here, we’ll by no means suppose as a group that we won’t beat these guys,” Harper stated. “They seem to be a good group. We’re an excellent group, as nicely. We grinded at-bats very well. Riley took two good swings and that was the distinction right now. Not too shocked on the method each groups bounced again. We’ll see what occurs tomorrow.”

By Editor